Sweet Corn: Enjoy the Favorite Mouthwatering Iowa Icon all Year Round

By Julie Van Manen, Farm Life in Black and White

This time of year fresh Iowa sweet corn can be found in various locations including local grocery stores, roadside stands, farmyards and backyard gardens. For nearly two decades, sweet corn has been an important part of my children’s lives as they became involved in the sweet corn business at the ages of five and three.

This time of year fresh Iowa sweet corn can be found in various locations including local grocery stores, roadside stands, farmyards and backyard gardens.  For nearly two decades, sweet corn has been an important part of my children’s lives as they became involved in the sweet corn business at the ages of five and three.

From two weeks to two months — and an acre to several acres — J and E’s Delicious Sweet Corn now supplies local grocery stores and stands with the mouthwatering Iowa icon.

Even though we enjoy plenty of fresh corn on the cob, we like to preserve the taste of summer by freezing some as well. The methods to prepare sweet corn are about as numerous as the varieties that can be found.  When I am at the stand in town, I am often asked how I prepare it and customers share techniques.

My favorite method is to simply cook in boiling water.

  1. Husk and remove silk.
  2. Fill pot with enough water to completely cover corn. Bring water to a boil.
  3. Place corn in boiling water for 3 minutes. Do not overcook.
  4. Remove from water. Serve with salt, pepper, and butter.

To enjoy the taste in the winter we like to freeze some corn. Midseason corn is the best to freeze because it is sweeter than the early season varieties.

  1. After husking the corn, wash and remove the silk.
  2. Cut corn off of the cob. (I like to use an electric knife. Place cutting board in a cookie sheet in order to contain corn kernels.)
  3. Blanch (Place in boiling water for 3 minutes.) I like to place in a cloth sack to remove easily from boiling water. Blanching is done to preserve the flavor and sweetness.
  4. Remove from boiling water and place in cold water. Pour corn out of bag into a colander with cold water and then place in ice water. I like to freeze water in Cool Whip containers and ice cream buckets in order to have larger chunks of ice.
  5. Place in bags. Squeeze out extra air to prevent freezer burn. Store in freezer.

Another frequent question I get asked is, “How long can you keep fresh sweet corn?”

It keeps best in the husk in the refrigerator for four to five days, losing a bit of sweetness each day.

Some days it is just too hot to cook corn. For something cool and refreshing, try enjoying your sweet corn dip-style!

Sweet Corn Dip

  • 6 ears of corn (about 6 cups)
  • ½ cup mayo
  • 2 cups cheese
  • ½ red onion
  • 2 tsps. cilantro

Mix ingredients and serve with taco chips. For more color, add red pepper for more color. You can also add fresh chives instead of the cilantro.

Honey Butter

  • 1 Tbsp. honey

  • 3 Tbsp. butter

  • 1 tsp. parsley

Mix ingredients and top your sweet corn, either on the cob or pulled from the freezer.